Sweet Protection Ronin Max RIG Glasses Review

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The Ronin Max RIG from Sweet Protection are designed for maximum coverage and performance during high intensity sport activities. Available in the Standard Ronin, and the Ronin Max, the Max version on test features an oversized lens that offers additional vertical coverage for added protection. In the box, along with the glasses you also get a hard case, a cloth bag and a spare nose piece. 

Construction – lens:

Available in various different frame and lens combos, the pair we’ve had on test feature a Matte Slate Gray Metallic frame combined with a RIG Bixbite lens and retails for £129.99. The RIG in the name stands for Retina Illumination Grading – and is Sweet Protection’s proprietary lens technology. It’s a ‘contrast enhancing lens technology’ designed to increase colour contrast while minimising color distortion and reducing eye fatigue.

The Ronin Max Rig utilises a 2.2mm toric lens and there are a total of six different RIG lenses available (along with a clear and Obsidian Black Polarized), each with a different tint and aimed at slightly different weather / light conditions. The Bixbite lens on our test set is a category 2 lens aimed at a range of weather from full sun, through to cloudy conditions, giving it a wide usable range.

The lenses also feature smooth machined edges and benefit from a Super oleophobic and hydrophobic coating on the outside to help clear the lens and make cleaning easier, along with an embedded anti-fog coating on the inner lens. Furthermore, they also offer 100% UV protection. 

Construction – frame:

The frame is made from TR90 Polyamid which is designed to be durable and lightweight. It’s a semi frameless, modular design, enhancing the light weight and giving a massive field of vision while also making lens swaps nice and easy – just unclip the two side frame / arms and the nose piece, and clip them onto the replacement frame.

The nose piece itself is made from a soft rubber adding comfort and helping to keep things in place and is easily replaceable – you even get a spare in the box. The thin, shaped arms have molded TPR inserts at the temple to again increase comfort and add security and stability. Along with the replaceable nose piece, you also get a soft bag which doubles as a cleaning wipe along with a hard case.

Fit and Performance:

From the first time of trying the Ronins they have felt comfortable to wear, whether that’s for a quick lunch hour spin or longer days in the saddle, and have stayed in place with no movement no matter how rough the trails have been. While the nose piece might not be shapeable, it has remained comfortable and secure, and hasn’t caused any irritation or undue pressure, and has remained in place even on hot sweaty rides. 

Again, while the arms are a fixed shape, I’ve found them to be comfortable to wear for prolonged periods without developing any hot spots. The TPR inserts seem to do a good job of keeping things secure with no movement, anf the arms are thin enough to not cause issues with helmet retention systems and have worked well with a few different helmets. With some other glasses I’ve had issues with the arms being too thick and either putting pressure on the top / inside of my ears, or causing hot spots due to the retention system.

The Toric lens

The lens itself is a toric shape – which basically means they are curved across two plains, both horizontally and vertically – and offer a massive field of vision. The frameless, modular design means there’s nothing to get in the way and offers a completely unrestricted view. The size of lens gives really good protection from branches and undergrowth and the curved shape wraps around the face stopping any flying mud or water from getting in. Once I start descending and the speed picks up I suffer from watery eyes but that big lens also does a great job of stopping the wind and letting me look ahead, focusing on the trail, rather than blinking manically to clear the tears streaming out of my eyes.

The RIG lens is impressively clear, and even with the highly curved shape I’ve not experienced any weird refraction or distortion when out on the trails. The reddish tint of the lens does a great job of picking out and enhancing the colours and the trail and has proven to be usable in a wide range of conditions – from early morning sunrise, bright sunshine, overcast days, to late afternoon / evening dusk. Once the sun starts to dip a bit though they can start to feel a bit dark in the woods, but they’re not sold as low light / night glasses so that’s not really an issue.

The Ronin Max RIG in use – credit: James Vincent

The only small issue I’ve encountered is on reflected light, such as reflecting off parked cars when riding to the trails, which has occasionally caused small lens flares. This hasn’t been an issue on trails and hasn’t detracted from the overall performance, but may be worth considering if you do a lot of road miles.

Durability wise, so far they’ve held up really well and are scratch and scuff free despite being used in some pretty wet and muddy conditions. I’ve only used the supplied cloth bag for wiping them down, and while Sweet Protections guidelines say to only dab the inside of the lens to preserve the coating, I’ve got to admit wiping it on more than one occasion but the lenses are still staying fog free and remain nice and clear.

Overall

The Sweet Protection Ronin Max RIG look good, offer loads of protection and are comfortable to wear for long days out. Coupled with good durability and a lens that’s clear and usable in a wide variety of conditions, over the past few months the Ronin’s have become my go-to riding glasses. 

Review Info

Brand: Sweet Protection
Product: Ronin Max Rig
From: Jungle Products
Price: £129.99
Tested: by Ross for 6 months
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